After elections this weekend, Argentina is heading for a November 22 runoff to determine its next president.
In one corner is Javier Milei, a libertarian economist who wants to end 140% annual inflation by replacing the depreciating peso with the U.S. dollar. He displays a chainsaw at rallies to dramatize his desire to cut Argentina’s bloated welfare state.
In the other corner is Sergio Massa, the Economy Minister for the ruling Peronist party who is trying to buy votes with a pre-election spending spree. He is also trying to scare voters by warning public transit fares will have to go up by a factor of 12 if subsidies are ended.
THE BAD NEWS: Massa surprised observers by placing first and beating Milei 37% to 30% in Sunday’s voting, a reversal of his third-place August showing in an open primary. The good news: only 40% of Argentina’s voters cast ballots for left-wing candidates on Sunday. A total of 54% voted for Milei or conservative former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich. Another 6% voted for a regional centrist candidate.
Let’s hope that Argentina finally rejects socialism in a few weeks. We will keep you posted.